PhD candidate in analytical chemistry/biotechnology

Updated: 19 days ago
Deadline: 05 May 2024

5th May 2024

  • English

PhD candidate in analytical chemistry/biotechnology
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About the position

A 100 % PhD position in biotechnology is available at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN), Faculty of Applied Ecology, Agricultural Sciences and Biotechnology. The position will run for 3 years, starting in August 2024. The candidate will be enrolled in INN’s PhD program in applied ecology and biotechnology, with workplace at the Department of Biotechnology at Campus Hamar.

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About the project

Biological phosphorus removal is recognized as a cost-effective and sustainable approach for wastewater treatment. The intermunicipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) Hias IKS, situated in Innlandet County, has innovatively developed a method for phosphorus removal from domestic wastewater. This approach leverages the Moving-Bed-Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) technology in conjunction with Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR). It relies on the metabolic activities of diverse microorganisms attached to biocarriers in biofilms. Through intricate interactions, these microorganisms effectively remove carbon, phosphorus, and nitrogen from the wastewater.

A research group led by INN, in collaboration with scientists from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), has collaborated with Hias IKS for several years to develop methods for the functional characterization of the biofilm microbiome. In an ongoing project, we employ various meta-omic approaches, including metagenomics and metatranscriptomics, to elucidate the microbial community structure within the biofilm. Additionally, we analyze the metabolic processes occurring at different stages of the treatment process. We are now expending the project by hiring a new PhD student.

The PhD project will include the analysis of the spatial organization of specific microorganisms and their chemistry within the biofilm, utilizing advanced analytical spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. The meta-omic methodology will remain a significant component of the project. The selected candidate will be part of an externally funded project, with the daily workplace at Campus Hamar. However, occasional international visits will be necessary to access cutting-edge analytical instrumentation.

The candidate’s main supervisor will be Professor Wenche Johansen (INN). Co-supervisors will be Associate Professor Abdolrahman Khezri (INN), Professor Knut Rudi (NMBU), Professor Lars Gustav Snipen (NMBU) and Professor Achim Kohler (NMBU).


It is a requirement that the PhD research fellow qualifies for admission to the University's PhD programme in Applied ecology and biotechnology. Applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

The candidate must have a Master’s degree in analytical chemistry, specifically for the analysis of biological macromolecules and processes, with an average weighted mark for the Master’s degree programme of at least a B. Applicants with a Master's degree from another subject area, or with lower average mark, may be admitted after special review.

Furthermore, you must have a strong academic background from your previous studies, ie. the average grade should normally be B or better from the master's program (120 credits) or equivalent education. Calculation of the average grade is based on the credits for each course and for the master's thesis. Applicants with weaker grades than what is normally required for admission must document that they will be able to complete a doctoral degree. In cases where the education has been approved with the use of the grades passed / failed, the applicant is admitted after an individual assessment. If you have education from abroad, you can contact NOKUT  for approval of your education, alternatively a similar assessment will be made in connection with the application process.

Furthermore, emphasis is placed on the following attributes:

  • Documented practical experience with infrared-spectroscopy and confocal microscopic techniques.

  • Documented experience with statistical analysis tools including R scripting.

  • Wet-lab experience working with the isolation and analysis of biological macromolecules.

  • Good analytical skills.

  • Professional and personal prerequisites for completing the doctoral degree program within the employment period.
  • The ability to work independently and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
  • The ability to work in a structured manner and having a large work capacity.
  • Solid theoretical insight and interest.

Preferred competences/skills:

  • Experience with the analysis of next-generation sequencing data.
  • Background in microbiology.

Language proficiency:

  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must document English competence through an approved test (TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

Evaluation of candidates for the position will be based on a total assessment of educational background, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation and other eligibility requirements, as defined in the advertisement. In addition, the following will be emphasized: quality of the project description, documented independent research and development work or experience relevant to the project.

The position and associated tasks must be carried out in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations for government employees, including also the Act on Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology, etc. Candidates who, after assessment of the application and attachments, come into conflict with the criteria in the latter act, will not be able to take up the position at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. Necessary approvals must be maintained throughout the employment relationship.

How to apply

Your application must include:

  • Application letter including a brief account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position
  • CV detailing your relevant educational background and experience (registered in Jobbnorge's form).
  • Copies of academic diplomas and transcripts (A certified English translation of all educational documents is required unless the documents are in Norwegian.)
  • A list of publications.
  • The names and contact information for two referees.
  • Any other documentation you would like us to consider.

Attachments must be uploaded as separate files. If the attachments exceed 30 MB, they must be compressed prior to upload. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all attachments are uploaded. Documents submitted after expiry of the deadline will not be considered in the evaluation of your application.

We offer
  • A place in an ambitious and highly international environment.
  • A challenging and exciting project with opportunities for personal and scientific development.

  • An independent and flexible work setting that the successful candidate may to a large extent influence her/himself. Daily contact with inspiring skilled colleagues.

  • Position is paid and placed in position code 1017, PhD candidate in the Government Salary Scale
  • Membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension, with among other things, good pension and insurance schemes.

For more information about INN University as an employer, please see here .


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General information

For further details about the position, please contact main supervisor Professor Wenche Johansen, email: [email protected].

HINN believes that there is strength in inclusion and diversity. We desire employees with different competencies, professional combinations, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to an even better way of solving problems. We will facilitate for employees who need assitance to realise their goals. Relevant adaptations can be, for example, technical aids, adapting furniture or adjusting routines, work tasks and working hours.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, gaps in the CV or immigrant background, we shall call at least one applicant in each of these categories for an interview. In order to be considered as an applicant in these groups, the applicants must meet certain requirements. You can read more on this here: .

We encourage applicants to tick in Jobbnorge if they have a disability, a gap in their CV or immigrant background. The ticks in the jobseeker portal form the basis for anonymised statistics that all state-owned enterprises report in their annual reports

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

About Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN University) is home to over 16,000 students and 1,500 employees, and has campuses in Lillehammer, Hamar, Elverum, Rena, Evenstad and Blæstad.

INN University aspires to build strong and enduring academic and research environments that will spearhead regionally, nationally and internationally. We are developing a new and better institution with high academic and pedagogical quality, aiming at achieving university accreditation by 2025.

Our vision is "Stronger Together".

Questions about the position

Wenche Johansen


[email protected]

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5th May 2024


Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences




Fulltime (1 positions) Fulltime (%)



Place of service
Holsetgata 31, 2318 Hamar


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